''I Must Go Down To The Sea Again'

I need to go to the ocean...not the seaside with candy floss stalls and winkles in little trays to fish out with a cocktail stick...not where there are beach balls and 'dogs must be kept on a lead' notices...

Not where there are stout ladies in white skirts playing an afternoon game of bowls on a pristine green or loud men wearing white socks and sandals eating chips...

I need to go where the Atlantic waves crash against the rocks and Sand Pipers rush hastily away from the incoming tide

Not to where the seagulls scream overhead and are bold enough to steal the food from the man in sandals fingers...not where children shriek and scream and mothers sit under gaudy umbrellas...and where Fathers grow scarlet in the face from playing beach football.

But to the silent shores where rock pools are full of Sea Anemones and tiny darting fishes...where polished sea glass lies waiting and ancient fossils are buried in stone.

Where a lone girl rides her horse bareback along the shore...and sunlight glimmers on the sand.

Not for me the over-crowded Coach parks with sweaty drivers in their smart jackets...not for me the endless trip round and round a car-park looking for a space...not for me the pervading smell of greasy food being cooked at three in the afternoon...rather the taste of salt on my lips as the winds blow in from the vast ocean.

To catch sight of a Pod of Dolphins is so much better than a burger in a bun with plenty of onions...finding the stalagmites and stalactites on the overhanging rocks on the cliff face...dripping endlessly from the water of underground streams... is worth much more than setting up a deck chair on a beach littered with discarded Coke cans and broken beer bottles...

There is no parking fee here...there are no stalls selling buckets and spades or whirly windmills to put atop a sandcastle...just the wind and the sky and pockets of Sea Thrift growing between the rocks...sometimes a family with small children, crouched beside a rock pool seeing what they can see...they grin from ear to ear when I say hello and show me the way the Sea Anemone opens her fronds...they ask me earnestly have I seen the nesting Puffins and will we meet later on in the Beach Bar...

They have tangled hair and long brown legs and intelligent eyes...we meet again...not in the Beach Bar, but in the fish and chip shop in Tubbercurry on the way home...

The wild Atlantic ocean has a pull like no other...

22 Replies

  • To the lonely sea and the sky.

    I know how you feel, I really miss the sea living as I do know right in the middle of England.

    It's just in my imagination now or on You tube, and I do have a cd of waves.

    Nothing beats the real thing though

  • ''And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to sail her by'

  • How beautiful, if I sat down all day I would not be able to write like you. You can actually take me to where you are, in my mind if that makes sense. I am going to the ocean in a few days to Wales, We I am afraid to say sit in the car looking out to sea, I love it. Sometimes we sit with fish and chips, othertimes coffee and an ice cream.

  • But it doesn't matter in the very slightest how you enjoy the ocean...just as long as you do xxx

  • What a beautiful piece of writing took me to the sea.and home again x

  • Thank you...xxx

  • That left me longing for the feel of sand between my toes and the sun on my back.

  • I was at the sea on Sunday, first time all summer. It did my soul good and I didn't want to leave. It would be awesome to pitch a tent between the dunes and sleep with the sound of the waves.

  • Can just picture that, Vashti, your imagination knows no bounds. :-) x

  • I am very lucky as I live by the sea and can visit it anytime. I much prefer it when the grockles (tourists) go home and the beaches are more or less silent and empty. When I sit by the sea I always feel free and any claustophia I might feel is washed away with the feeling of space and air. I am fascinated by the waves and always have the desire to sail away into the ocean and forget all my woes. It calms me down and chills me out and reminds me that we are only a small speck on earth and there are much more powerful forces than mankind. x

  • grockles????? A new word for me. xx

  • I spent some time in Cornwall many years ago and I think "grockles" is code for tourists

  • Cornwall tourists are "emmets" moi 'ansome !


  • Oooops, ta for the clarification DecD

  • Yes it is, I spent many weekends in Looe in Cornwall, and we didn't mind the "grockles" at all.

  • I thought it was cockles.

  • Beautiful as always Vashti xx

  • It sounds lovely...I particularly like the bit where the girl rides her horse bear.

  • John Masefield would be honoured to read how you have elaborated on his wonderful poem Vashti. The way you can transport us with words to another place, is beautiful. Thank you for that. XX

  • I thought grockles were Devon and emmets Cornwall for tourists!

  • You have treated us to a classic, Vashti. It is many years since I saw the big bold Atlantic with it's mighty waves.

    Our North Sea is nowhere near as exciting. We have pebble beaches and sand dunes round here. Always a biting cold wind.

    When my foot is better I will go to the beach, when dogs are allowed back on the shore. I don't think we have a term for tourists, but incomers tend to be called bl**dy Londoners.

  • Sea Fever


    I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

    And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

    To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

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